Cover of audiobook showing a wolf lying down

The Domestication of Dogs (Charles River Editors, 2020, Audiobook)

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by Erik Prins

10/06/2023

This title may seem like a book that is for the more serious canine fans. I feel it is a really good book to get you thinking about where our beloved four-legged friend comes from. It does not just talk about the fact that it comes from wolves. It goes much further back in time when the canid was first believed to have emerged, which is about 40 million years ago.

It takes you on a historical journey. Discussing the archaeological finds that have been discovered in different parts of the world and at different times in history. It also talks about some of the genetic findings which are more recent but a technique which can give us more information about their origin. I found the discussion about the first dog collar and dog training manual fascinating, I did not realise how old both in fact are. The different mythical stories are brilliant. One is about a Wales king who mistakenly killed his dog, who the king thought had killed his baby. The king learned later and to his horror that the dog had protected his child from a wolf.

two photos, one showing a pack of wolfs and the other showing a woman holding a dog. Text stating "from wolf to dog"
dog evolution

Who domesticated who?

I still do not agree that the dog was domesticated by humans. The biggest problem is that we imagine a world between 15 to 30,000 years ago through our 21st-century eyes. It’s difficult enough to understand living in your country and imagine how it is in your neighbouring countries, never mind different continents, I speak from experience. So trying to think even 15,000 years back is impossible, yet assumptions are made. My view is that domestication has been a process of evolution. Both humans and canines learned to understand the benefit of co-existence. Rather than an exclusively human-executed process.

This audiobook is only an hour and a half long, but they managed to cram in a lot of knowledge. The explanations are concise and clear and you feel you have been taken on a journey of discovery. It is a great starting point for anyone interested in the topic of canine domestication.

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About the Author

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Erik Prins

Hello, My name is Erik, I am a 3D (Dutch, Dyslexic, Diabetic), 55-year-old young man who lives with his wife, daughter and 3 Greyhounds in North Warwickshire. I volunteer as a dog trainer and run my own dog training and dog psychology business. I am proudly Dyslexic, please forgive my grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and you may be so lucky to experience my chaotic mind. I hope you will enjoy the content as it builds up over time.